Daisy, Daisy, the Great Gatsby’s going crazy all for the love of you…
Jay Gatsby hopes to reunite with an old love but now married Daisy Buchanan.
The Great Gatsby, official trailer, Warner Bros Pictures and pictures @ Warner Bros Pictures
Attention all romantics, head to the shops. Buy the following shopping list, one copy of one of the most hopelessly romantic films ever, The Great Gatsby (2013) on DVD, one or two boxes of tissues, one large cream cake and one or two bricks. Wine is optional, but it is compulsory to invite two of your best friends over and call for pizza. Finally, send your kids and your partner – who often riffs, comments or generally disrupts your viewing – to see John Wick (2014) or its sequel…
Anyway my romantic friends, firstly I must apologise as I realise the hopeless ones amongst you have been sadly neglected in this blog. That is unless you include my Outlander (2014) review. However, I personally think that particular review would only appeal to the romantic cynics amongst us. Or those expats who miss Scotland, or both.
The Great Gatsby is directed by Australian director Baz Luhrmann and based on the book of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby. DiCaprio is known to millions of us as the actor with the matinée idol, and boyish looks. DiCaprio always seems to play a man with a fatal flaw. This that he has horrible taste in women. This is seen in his roles in Shutter Island (2010), Inception (2010) and (dare I say it) Titanic (1997).
I didn’t fancy him when he was just a wee waif in Titanic. But I do remember having a bit of a hulk moment in the end when Rose is floating on the ship wreckage and let’s lover Jack (DiCaprio) drown in a watery grave. She is rescued moments later so Rose (
Buxom Kate Winslet) you could so have held onto him a wee bit longer, after all, you had the strength to pull him over a car seat! But I digress.
DiCaprio just as you probably envisaged Gatsby in your head when you read the book. Unless of course, DiCaprio is not your guy. I have a bit of a crush on this blue-eyed Adonis so this is my totally unbiased opinion, as even Chris Hemsworth fades into the nether. He’s just lovely in every way…
The Great Gatsby also stars Tobey Maguire (
Spiderman) as the narrator Nick Carraway, a very doe-eyed Carey Mulligan (Daisy) and supertall Zooey Deschanel’s doppelgänger, Elizabeth Debicki (Jordan). It is essentially a sob story, but my protective instinct for DiCaprio (despite the fact he is nearly as old as darlin’ husband) led to more than a few angry tears and upsets with the plot.
These tears of anger were directed at all the characters bar Gatsby. By the end of the film, I was as disillusioned with the characters as much as the narrator of the story, Nick Carraway (Maguire). The lion’s share of the anger was directed at Isla Fisher’s character Myrtle. Maybe it’s because Fisher has been annoying me since Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009) and Burke and Hare (2010).
Gatsby’s tale is narrated by Carraway (Maguire) who tells us about this tale of disillusionment and lost hopes and dreams, as he talks with his psychiatrist. At the beginning of the story, Carraway is being treated for alcoholism in a psychiatric hospital. The story is told partly in flashbacks.
The psychiatrist asks him to write his story down as Carraway is struggling to express himself. Carraway continues to tell this tale by writing his story. Carraway tells how he came to rent a house next to the home of Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is a mysterious enigmatic millionaire who holds lavish parties.
No one has met Gatsby, but everyone has wild theories about him and his past. Carraway’s cousin Daisy and her husband Tom Buchanan and their young daughter live across from the men. The Buchanans’ home can be spotted from Gatsby’s mansion and is seen with a blinking green light at the end of the pier.
Carraway discovers that Tom has been having an affair with a rough married wife from the tracks, Myrtle (Fisher). Her husband owns a garage in a run-down part of town. On his return home one day, Carraway meets Gatsby. Gatsby invites him to one of his parties and they form a friendship.
He accompanies Gatsby on a trip in Gatsby’s yellow Rolls Royce and Gatsby tells him more about his past. Jordan, Daisy’s friend has mentioned to Carraway that Gatsby and Daisy were lovers about 5 years previously. Gatsby’s still terribly in love with her. At Gatsby’s request, to engineer a reunion with Daisy, Carraway invites Gatsby and Daisy for afternoon tea.
The awkwardness from Gatsby before she arrives, and the unsettling tension between him and Daisy after her late arrival, prompt me to reach for my tissues. Carraway says he is going into town to leave them alone together. I hold my breath, and let out the start of a sob. Mulligan is looking ultra doe-eyed and very wee and vulnerable.
DiCaprio as Gatsby is acting his little heart out and so I stifle another sob. They are surrounded by lots and lots of flowers. It is made all the more romantic when I remember a scene from the original Dallas series (1978). This was when J.R. Ewing proposed to ex-wife Sue Ellen (leading to their second marriage) after buying the entire contents of a florist’s.
I reach for my Darlin Husband’s hand for support. Then Darlin Husband says “Of course, Carraway is really Spiderman, he’s got Spidey sense so he’s off to save the world”. Luckily that was a much better scenario than the alternative version. Here he would have reminded me of the similarly themed proposal by Danny DeVito’s character, Vincent to the object of his affection, Linda (Chloe Webb) in the comedy film, Twins (1998).
It is at this point of the proceedings, I will let you continue to watch the film. But do have a brick in one hand for Myrtle et al and tissues in the other hand for the Gatsby moments. DiCaprio is a bloody good actor who deserves more than one Oscar and not just a Lifetime Achievement Award (and not just because I’m biased and have watched all his films after he beefed up from the wee waif he once was).
Before you rush out for the wee shopping list I gave you at the beginning of this review. Please, please remember after watching the remainder of this film that DiCaprio is the only man ever that could wear beige and get away with it. So don’t go crazy and buy something beige for your man’s Christmas. He won’t thank you. Really he won’t.
Weeper Rating: 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 /10
Handsqueeze Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 /10
Hulk Rating: /10
The Reel Infatuation Blogathon 2019, No 31 and the Always A Bridesmaid Blogathon No 66
This post was added to Reel Infatuation Blogathon 2019 run by Silver Screenings and Font and Frock. It was also added to Hollywood Genes’ Always A Bridesmaid Film Blogathon. Other film reviews with this cast include Elizabeth Debicki in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and Carey Mulligan in My Boy Jack. Leonardo DiCaprio stars in Don’t Look Up, my Hotties and Detectives posts, Django Unchained and Shutter Island. Carey Mulligan stars in My Boy Jack.